Kinera Freya Review

Technical Performance

The sound-stage is studio-like but it’s quite wide and deep for the price. Stereo imaging is strong with a dark background, especially with a great source like the DTR1. The IEM has good cohesiveness in its own signature with a neutral and even an analytical approach to some degree. I think it resembles the Etymotic ER2XR a bit. Freya also has good balance and coherency. It has good control without any aggressiveness as well so nothing irritates you.

The instrument separation is one of the strong suits of this IEM and thanks to its good background quality everything separates nicely so it’s easy to pick every element of a song. The tonality is lively yet a bit cold and thin so it’s not the most musical or romantic IEM you can find. Overall resolution is very good among the other sub-300$ IEMs and Freya can give you lots of details in a song thanks to its clinical and resolving nature. The bass doesn’t have that certain feeling about the texture and extension though.

Comparisons

Review: Kinera IDUN – Compensated

Idun was a 139$ IEM from Kinera 2 years ago. It was a nice performer with a pretty good resolution and technical capabilities. The Freya takes it one step further with a better treble performance, better separation, and a deeper sound-stage. It has better coherency too, which is very important. Freya also has the design advantage with its superb eye-catching colors and shape.

However in all honesty; if you still have the IDUN and don’t want to spend an additional 250$, then the IDUN is surely enough for you. This is not a night and day difference in real life.

Review: FiiO FH5 – The Apex

The FiiO FH5 has been a popular IEM with its warm nature and bold bass response. Low frequencies are better with the FH5 with more sub-bass and extension as well as texture. In comparison, the Freya sounds a bit dry in there so if you love your bass the FH5 is your pick. The FH5 also has more body in the mid-range with its fullness and warmth. Freya stays a bit sterile and cold in that particular area.

Freya has better treble with more extension, definition, and transparency as well as articulation. On the technical side of things, they’re not much apart but the Freya has a slight edge in there. It has better control, better separation, and better balance to me. Nevertheless, they’re very close so this goes down to your personal choice, like warmth vs. neutral or analytical I should say. Freya has a better fit though, at least for me.

Shozy Form 1.4 Review

Shozy Form 1.4 made it to our Best Universal IEMs page recently and it’s a damn good IEM for the price. They can’t be more different in terms of signature though. Shozy has a fuller and warmer approach with a different timbre which is better for me. It is also easier to listen to and it surely is the more musical IEM versus Freya’s neutral and more clinical approach.

Form 1.4 gives a better bass with more quantity, and it is in fact quite good in mids as well. Treble is a different story though and Freya comes on top in there. But the Shozy offering has a better timbre and it has a musical touch in it. It is also more versatile so I can surely say it’s much more all-rounder than the Freya. It sounds good with various sources and genres. Freya on the other hand is a bit picky about its synergy.

Both have a great build quality and fit but the Freya has a much more impressive packaging with a tremendous unboxing experience with more accessories.

Verdict

As a whole, I think the Kinera Freya sounds very good in its price range. The only other IEM that gives a similar sound at a low price is the Etymotic ER2XR to me, which costs even less and it has a bit more technical performance. However, Kinera’s packaging experience and the overall design qualities deserve additional praise in my opinion. I think it will turn a lot of heads and please a lot of ears for its looks and sound performance.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists the same. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favorite Jazz recordings.

2 Comments

  • Reply October 22, 2020

    Adrian

    Before i start there are 2 version of freya, the pre-production one with warmer sound signature and the mass production one which you will receive should you order one right now with brighter sound signature. i dont know which version this guy reviewing but as an owner of freya since august im obliged to make this thing right and prevent disappointment of future owners. this review, either the reviewer is so incapable or he just review the preproduction one (you can ask the kinera yourself if you dont believe me).

    the bass, while i agree there are no mid bass hump, but it bleeds like crazy. i know the bass quantity wasn’t that much, but for every time the song call for it, the bass always find a way to ruin the whole song and bleed to mid. i know it sounds weird, but when the song doesn’t require any bass presence, the mid just running clearly just fine that you wont expect the bass would be this catasthropic.

    the upper mid is also crazy, as it using 2 knowles BA on mid frequency and 1 cheap custom BA on high frequency the result is very crazy, while the mid is pretty decent and sounded very clear with good clarity because it runs by Knowless BA, the upper mid region and above is very dry and piercing, it coming from a treble head who use Campfire IO as a daily driver. The treble, while i crave for a more extended high frequency, upper mid region sounded so dry and hella piercing.

    I can feel Kinera so desprate to control the Dynamic driver so it doesn’t produce mid bass hump, but their solution to it just producing very weird bass that bleed at a certain part of the song. Since they give a lot of gimmick and excellent IEM shell, they seemed like going out of budget and push in some random cheap ass BA to run the high frequency, not only it sounds so incoherent and very rough transition from mid to high freq, it also sound very dry and piercing. not to mention you can feel the imbalance tonality quality on mid and high frequency, while the mid sounds so detail and reproducing instrument very well, but upper mid region just sucks, i mean theoretically drier sound should have better dynamic range.

    Also, the Type C DAC dongle has compatibility issue, tried to connect it to Samsung Note 9, Galaxy A50 and Redmi Note 9pro, everything came to no avail. I also tried it to plug it to Asus and Surface laptop and they don’t respond at all. i know it just a marketing gimmick, but please throw something useable on it.

    • Reply October 23, 2020

      Berkhan

      Hello Adrian.

      I appreaciate your take on this one. I don’t think I have the pre-production version since it doesn’t sound warm whatsoever. As I stated in the review it sounds bright, neutral and even cold sometimes. However, may I ask what sources did you use it with?

      There’s a little bleed in the bass but I don’t agree that it’s on a crazy level. It’s just a bit loose and it dissipates a bit too much just like I remarked in the review. Again, the source plays a role here.

      It doesn’t sound piercing or aggressive to me. While I agree that it’s bright and open, I don’t think it’s uncontrolled. This also comes down to your source device.

      The Type C dongle works fine with my Xiaomi phone.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.